Stephen R. Sylvanie / Special to the Las Vegas Sun
Saturday, July 4, 2009 | 12:10 p.m.
Fourth of July coverage
Thousands of spirited local residents, many of them decked out in red, white and blue, lined the streets of The Trails Village on Saturday to watch the 15th annual Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade.
Children cheered on their favorite characters, like Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland and Curious George, while grabbing candy and waving flags.
The parade included about 60 floats, dance groups and local organizations before grand marshal Gen. Kevin McLaughlin, vice commander of Nellis Air Force Base, wrapped up the hour-long parade.
The infectious drum beat from Native American dance group Danza Del Carrizo had 6-year-old Braden Walsh prancing on the sidewalk.
It was the second time Braden had been to the Fourth of July parade. His mother, Emma, grew up in New York watching the annual Thanksgiving Day celebration there.
“I’m glad we have something for these kids to see,” she said. “I love parades. He’s having fun, too.”
George Gates, 76, who is a Korean War veteran, has attended the parade for 10 years. He said the Fourth of July is an observance of freedom and a reminder of the efforts of millions who ensure that freedom continues.
“Parades like this are celebrations of the American spirit of self-sacrifice and the belief in something more important than yourself,” he said.
For others, like Frances Vega, the parade started a day of festivities with family.
“We’ve got family in town and friends coming over to sit by the pool, barbecue and then, of course, the fireworks tonight,” she said.
Jeff Pope can be reached at 259-8836 or at email@example.com.